Garrapata State Park
|Garrapata State Park|
The granite coast of Garrapata State Park
|Location||Monterey County, California, USA|
|Nearest city||Carmel, California|
|Area||2,939 acres (1,189 ha)|
|Governing body||California Department of Parks and Recreation|
Garrapata State Park is a state park of California, USA, located on Highway 1 6.7 miles (10.8 km) south of Carmel and 18 miles (29 km) north of Big Sur on the Monterey coast. It is marked only with one sign on the west side of the road. Numbered turnouts mark each parking area. The 2,939-acre (1,189 ha) park was established in 1979.
Garrapata State Park has 2 miles (3.2 km) of beachfront, with coastal hiking and a 50-foot (15 m) climb to a view of the Pacific. The park offers diverse coastal vegetation with trails running from ocean beaches into dense coast redwood groves. The park also features coastal headlands at Soberanes Point. California sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters frequent the coastal waters while gray whales pass close by during their yearly migration.
Most of the park was burned by the 2016 Soberanes Fire which began in the park as the result of an illegal campfire. The fire burned for more than two months. It resulted in the death of a bulldozer operator and destroyed 57 residences. It was at the time the most expensive fire in United States history. The individual responsible was never identified. As of May 2018[update], all of the trails on the west side of Highway 1 are open, but only a portion of one trail on the east side of Highway 1 is open to hikers.
The area hosted the Ohlone and Rumsien tribes in the past. In 1835, the portion of the park land generally to the west of a line along the Rocky Ridge Trail was part of Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito. It was given by Alta California Governor Juan Alvarado to Teodoro Gonzalez and re-granted in the same year to Marcelino Escobar.
William B. Post acquired two 160 acres (65 ha) parcels and lived on the land between 1858 and 1866. In 1867 he sold his land to David Castro, who sold it the following year to Ezequiel Soberanes. Soberanes operated a prosperous cattle and sheep ranch for 24 years. The Soberanes family, locally famed for their musical talents, also offered their hospitality to other ranchers traveling along the coast to Monterey. The Doud Ranch Francis Doud, an early Monterey resident, purchased the Soberanes land and other parcels in 1891 to create the Doud Ranch, which ran cattle until the early 1950s. The family’s wood-frame ranch house burned to the ground in the 1960s. The state acquired its first parcel of the property in 1980; Garrapata (Spanish for tick) was classified a state park in 1985. Some features within the park still bear the names of these families.
Garrapata coast is characterized by its big waves.
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